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Capillary Wave mental health group helps men support men

The group has been meeting twice a week since December, and currently has 53 members
Capillary Wave has been working since Christmas to help men in Halton.

When Nelson Borges was 49-years-old, he had a panic attack for the first time. 

With three children who have varying levels of anxiety, he’s not a stranger to the realities of mental health and anxiety attacks. Borges soon started having attacks daily, and knew there was work to be done. 

“I got to the point where I was just done, I needed to start looking into things to fix myself,” Borges said. “I started down a journey of learning and featuring out ways to live with it. Originally, I wanted to cure myself, but I guess there’s no such thing.”

Borges founded the group Capillary Wave, a men’s mental health support group that meets a few times each week. Kicking off around Christmas, the group saw five members show up to the first meeting. 

Now, about a dozen men show up to each meeting, and there are 53 total group members. 

“The things I’ve learned every single week has been amazing and overwhelming,” Borges said. “Early on, everyone in the group was around the same age, give or take a few years. A member said he’d been suffering from depression for like 30 years, he’d never been able to afford therapy, and that stung me in the heart.”

Borges made it his mission to make sure people who can't afford therapy can access free therapy. His dream is to get Capillary Wave an office space with volunteers who can offer the right support in a case by case basis. 

To date, everything has been out of pocket. Borges is looking for corporate sponsors and grants that may be able to help. He added that there are already volunteers lined up offering their services should the group find an office. 

“It’s not just one person doing all the work, it’s like an F1 pit crew,” Borges said. “My vision is that we’re a full service pit crew, we can offer therapy, workshops, bring in guest speakers from the community, and help men in other parts of their life.”

Expanding into other parts of members lives was the idea from the beginning, even starting with the name of the group. When one drops something into water, making ripples, they are called capillary waves. Borges said the idea of the group is based in the ripple effect, that a small change can have a big impact. 

Members meet regularly at Haber Community Centre, using a city services called Burlington Hubs meaning they are not charged for the room rental. Though Borges will continue to look for a private, permanent space. 

“The biggest thing with any non-profit is getting funding,” Borges said. “Once we get our website up and running, there will be an area for the public and businesses to donate. We’re really looking for that initial funding from a foundation or someone that can help get us going.”

Borges added anyone looking to get in contact with him can email him at [email protected]

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